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FORMER Zimbabwe international, Harlington Shereni, hopes to bring a galaxy of stars for his testimonial at the National Sports Stadium on June 27.

The former Avant De Guingamp FC, Nantes, Strasbourg and Dynamos star will say goodbye to all those people who helped him turn from an unknown player, who hailed in the Lowveld, into one of the stars of domestic football.

Shereni has invited his former international football colleagues to be part of the testimonial match in which they are expected to play against the Warriors.

The stars include Lucas Radebe, Olivier Giroud, Oumar Dieng, Bakari Sagna, El Hadji Diouf, Pascal Feinduno, Steven Pienaar, Emmanuel Eboueacute, Raymond Kallakongo, Bonaventure Kalou, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Steve Mandanda, Marvelous Nakamba, Benjani Mwaruwari and Roger Hitoto.

The testimonial is intended to help raise funds for The Harlington Shereni Foundation, which aims to provide talented young players with the opportunity to pursue their sporting goals while maintaining their academic studies.

Shereni believes it is possible to become a professional footballer while still pursuing a university degree.

“Locally, we have examples like Tauya Murewa, a medical doctor who played for Dynamos while at the UZ,” said Shereni.

“Even in the English Premier League there are people like Vincent Kompany and Cesc Fabregas who acquired university degrees while playing professional football.”

Shereni’s key motivation for developing a High Performance Centre is drawn from his observation that there was abundant talent among the underprivileged children in the country but few have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

“Throughout my career, I have observed that often those that are able to pursue professional sports are those from wealthier backgrounds,” Shereni said yesterday.

“For those from modest backgrounds, they are unable to access the facilities or training that takes an individual to the next level. “That is what the High Performance Centre is all about.

“I am going back to my roots (Masvingo) but the programmes offered at the centre will be open to Zimbabweans from across the country.

“Acceptance will be dependent on skill, passion and determination.”

He remains indebted to COPA Coca-Cola for helping him launch his football career.

Source : The Herald